Thursday, July 24, 2014

(not really) making a splash

i'm a sucker for a fun contest, especially since i've managed to get lucky a few times with them.  the most recent one was for the splash dash, a new 5K that promised a fun course with splash stations and "water gun gangs."  they'd posted a contest offering a free entry for you and your best friend, and all you had to do was leave a comment on their facebook page with the location you wanted to run, tagging your buddy in the post.  so i picked the teen, left my comment, and forgot all about it.

yup, you guessed it - we won!  except that when i compared schedules with the hub, it turned out he wasn't going to be around to hang out with the bean at home while we went down to irvine for the run.  i knew the bean wasn't going to be particularly excited about the idea of doing a 5K, so i signed her up for the kids' 1K run instead.  the teen was more than happy to skip out on 4 extra Ks, and with the kids' run scheduled to go first, the plan changed a little.  we'd all do the kids' race together, and then i'd run the 5K solo while the girls hung out at the finish line after-party.  good enough.

this is the funniest-looking course map i've seen yet, but it looked like it was going to be super fun:


we were a little bummed to find that the university was charging $10 per car to park for the run.  i mean, i guess they've gotta make money somehow, but a little heads-up would've been great.  what if we didn't have any cash?  that would've sucked to have to turn around and look for an ATM.  oh, well.  strike one.

at least it was a relatively short walk to the start line.



and we came upon our first photo op right away.


this looked like it could be fun - kind of like a mechanical bull, except that this one was a surfboard mounted inside a giant jumper.


with only 20 minutes till the start of the kids' run, people were scurrying around trying to assemble tents and tables and set up vendor booths and such.  it looked super unorganized and i was wondering what we'd gotten ourselves in for.  whatever, we can always kill time taking pictures.



finally, they got it together and started playing some music while an announcer told kids' run participants to head over to the start.  i asked her to show me her best running pose and this is what i got:


we all stood around for awhile longer, and it wasn't till after 9:30 that they finally got the party going. the bean was right in front and took off like a shot.


the first soak zone was just beyond the start.  it was cloudy and overcast but humid as all hell, and i think everyone was ready for a little cooling off.


it seemed like the longest 1K EVER.



as much as she hates getting wet, even the teen was happy to run through the splash stations.


i have to say, this race really was incredibly unorganized.  there was zero signage to guide everyone through the course they'd mapped out, and the guy who was leading the kids had disappeared long ago.  granted, the bean was towards the back of the pack, but still...we had to guess as to where we were supposed to go.  and when we found ourselves within view of the start/finish line with still a ways to go, i split off from them to head up and get ready for my run.  meanwhile, photos from the teen showed the bean happily going down the giant slip 'n slide and posing at the finish.


the 5K was just slightly easier to navigate as it wound around the park and through the UCI campus, with volunteers stationed at the turns to guide us through the course.


there were more volunteers armed with hoses every so often, which helped to cool off the runners.


the "car wash" was fun with sprinklers aimed at us, bubbles at the exit, and more splashing as we continued on.


meanwhile, the bean was taking on the rock wall.



when i got to the slip 'n slide, i found the girls waiting for me on a bench.  they decided to go down to the bottom and wait for me to take my turn, and luckily the line wasn't very long yet.


except that the tarp wasn't wet at all.  the volunteers tried to douse it with their hoses after every turn, but when i plopped my ass down on it i literally didn't move.  there was no slipping, nor was there any sliding.  i gave up and rolled off to the side before running down to the bottom and heading back to the course to finish my run.

yay, all done!



sno-cone time!



and something savory.



woohoo!


the race director sent out an email to all participants last night, full of apologies and explanations about what had gone wrong with the run.  apparently, he'd received a mountain of emails and feedback, mostly negative.  one of the items that stood out to me was that people had been complaining that there hadn't been as many splash zones as expected, and had been asked by others if the severe drought we're experiencing here in sunny california was the reason (it was).  he explained that there had been some confusion amongst the university's event staff, which delayed their set-up, which in turn pushed everything back.

i mean, hey.  it was their first race in the area, we are indeed facing a drought, shit happens.  the girls and i still had fun, got a little wet, did our exercise, had our sno-cones.  the race director seems to be open to all feedback and trying to improve things for the next go-round.  i'd probably do it again, especially if they find a new venue for next year.

you know, maybe.  we'll see.

2 comments:

  1. You found a creative solution to the problem that arose.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sorry. The visual of you not moving on the slip & slide has me cracking up.

    ReplyDelete

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